Italy- EU – Turkey: Opportunities and Relations


30 November 2021, Istanbul 29 Mayıs University, Zoom Webinar

Italy- EU – Turkey: Opportunities and Relations

HE Ambassador Massimo Gaiani, Ambassador of Italy to Turkey

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Özgür Ünal – Eriş, Jean Monnet Chair, Istanbul 29 Mayıs University

Ambassador Gaiani reiterated that the relations and cooperation between Turkey and Italy have been excellent in history and at present, both on political and the economic levels.  He pointed out that Turkey is an important partner not only for Italy but also for the European Union as a game-changer character with its multilateral approach after Covid-19. He thought that European Union came out stronger than ever.

In terms of EU-Turkey relations, Italy is continuosly favourable and definitely supports Turkish integration to the EU. It is often said Turkey is too big to be a part of the EU, he said, it is advantageous for both parties. Because of its young population and also agricultural production; it would be balanced. He added that Turkey plays an important role in the fight against crime, irregular migration, terrorism and many other regional problems. Here is the thing that Europe and others are not ready to such accession. The path should be continued, but this situation exists, there is no room to be demotivated, he said. He drew quite a lot of positive attention about integration path, and added that waves of scepticism, sovereignty, such people started again to see the EU’s capacity to response. In these times, it is a need to communicate in the ground of European values and contribute to Italy-Turkish relations in the sense of good partnership.

He pointed out Italy-Turkey are excellent in relations and essentially interconnected; very high-level and enlarged visits were signs of it. Italy is still the fifth partner and investor of Turkey globally in terms of trade flow. Italy buys goods from Turkey, partly in automotive, raw material, chemistry, he reiterated Turkey’s advanced infrastructure, labor force, large young population, and universities.; bilateral economic ties are very prominent, he put forward.  Gaiani warned that Turkish companies should accelerate their preparations for the transformation to a green economy, and decarbonisation.